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Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

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517 903028 Jul 19, 2014
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86% of reviewers $1,515.98
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.48
8.04
9.0
24-105lisusm

Specifications:
This easy-to-use standard zoom lens can cover a large zoom area ranging from 24mm wide-angle to 105mm portrait-length telephoto, and its Image Stabilizer Technology steadies camera shake up to three stops. Constructed with one Super-UD glass element and three aspherical lenses, this lens minimizes chromatic aberration and distortion. The result is excellent picture quality, even at wide apertures. Canon's ring-type USM gives silent but quick AF, along with full-time manual focus. Moreover, with dust- and moisture-resistant construction, this is a durable yet sophisticated lens that meets the demands of advanced amateur photographers and professional photographers alike.

Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 24-105mm f/4

Lens Construction: 18 elements in 13 groups

Diagonal Angle of View: 84° - 23° 20' (with full-frame camera)

Focus Adjustment: Inner focusing system with focusing cam

Closest Focusing Distance: 1.48 ft./0.45m

Zoom System: 5-group helical zoom (front group moves: 32.5mm)

Filter Size: 77mm

Max. Diameter x Length, Weight: 3.3 in. x 4.2 in., 23.6 oz. / 83.5mm x 107mm, 670g (lens only)



 


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Rollo
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Registered: May 26, 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 26, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fantastic image quality (eventually), great construction, genuinely useful range
Cons:
theres a good chance youll get a dud which will need a trip or two to the repair shop to realise its full potential

This is a great all round lens - the image quality is absolutely superb and the IS works extremely well - I have a lot of success getting good, stable pics of my kids, flowers & general day to day stuff handheld at 1/15.

Quality of construction is excellent throughout and everything feels beautifully solid - you can feel the quality!

Autofocus is very quick and usually pretty accurate but it does hunt occasionally if there isnt a great deal of contrast but then thats par for the course.

Sharpness is outstanding too throughout the range...but it isnt all a bed of roses.

I was totally underwhelmed when it first arrived - it was as soft as hell and the AF just wasnt accurate.

This was fixed by a drop into Lehmann's (Stoke on Trent if youre in the UK), who turned it round in 10 days and have completely transfomed it into what I paid £800 for.

If youre prepared to faff about like this youll get your rewards but as others have said about this lens it might take a couple of trips to the repair shop first!


May 26, 2009
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znapper
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Registered: May 22, 2008
Location: Norway
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 18, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Versatile, sharp, flare resistant, good IS and environmentally sealed, rugged build. Price is fair.
Cons:
Vignetting wide open (especially at 24mm), distortion at 24mm.

I use this lens in my studio all the time. Usually I shoot at around F8 and at that aperture, this lens is very sharp and a dream to use.
I've also used it wide open, and at 100-105 mine is actually surprisingly sharp and fully usable, I cannot speak for the wider end, as I usually use it stopped down (for landscape and city).

I've used it on travel as well, and the range this lens offers, specially on full frame, makes it a jack of (most?) trades and work very well as a "pick one" travel lens.

I've found the distortion and vignetting wide open at 24mm to be a little annoying, although correctable. Because it is a F4 lens and that the lens suffer from distortion and vignetting in the wide end, it is not a lens I would bring to ie a church.

I am a sucker for fast lenses, so when I have a choice, I'd rather carry my 24L, 50 1.4 and my 135L and change lenses if I am going on shorter trips.

Anyway, this tool can be used for a lot of things, on full frame, it can serve very well as a studio lens, as well as a travel lens. The weather sealing is a nice feature, especially for travel.

All in all, I am pleased with my copy, bought mine in Tokyo 2 years ago.


May 18, 2009
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Xavier Rival
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Registered: Jul 21, 2004
Location: France
Posts: 3959
Review Date: May 3, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Good standard lens on a 5D; decent image quality in all points of view except for distortion at the wide end; very effective IS; great build quality; sound price.
Cons:
No big negative point, when one is aware of the compromise this lens achieves (IQ is always decent but never perfect).

I have bought this lens one year ago, to use mainly with my 5D. It is a great standard lens for a full frame camera. When I do not want to take too many lenses, I usually take this and either my 17-40L or my Sigma 150 f/2.8, or both (I found this three lens team a wonderful kit for various trips including a trekking in the Himalaya).

I found image quality to be decent in all points of view, even if the distortion in the wide end can be a bit disturbing. Even at 24mm, the 24-105 does a good job though, since sharpness and contrast are still there. I would never rate the image quality of this lens as excellent (only primes or shorter range zoom can actually get "excellent" results), but it is always good enough to make rather large prints (I regularly do 13"x19", with some cropping). It is just not a lens for pixel-peepers; except for this, it is fine. Given the range this lens provides, I do not think one should complain (this lens is a bit like the 100-400: not perfect but it works quite well for so many different things that it is extremely useful overall).

F/4 is NOT a large aperture, but this lens has a very good, very useful IS. It and allows to do some low light photography except when the subject moves of course. I found the IS of that lens very effective : when the shutter speed is higher than 1/10s, I get mostly sharp pictures, whatever the focal length. Leaning against a wall allows to get even better results (sharp pictures, with close to 1s shutter speed).

Build quality is excellent, in line with the recent L lenses.

Overall, I can only highly recommend this lens. It is very good at what it is designed for (standard lens for FF cameras, backbone of a travel kit).


May 3, 2009
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stelin
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Registered: Dec 22, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4
Review Date: May 1, 2009 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Nice range IS
Cons:
Horrible barrel distortion at the wide end

I have had the 24-70 f2.8L for a few years. I love it for its sharpness, clarity and relative lack of distortion. However it is bulky and heavy so I wanted a more "walkabout" lens particularly for when on holiday. Thus I bought the 24-105. At first sight it is good. Familiar L build quality and weather seal, lighter, IS (lacking on the 24-70) compensating for the slower speed, and a longer reach. Then I started using it.
It is sharp, not as sharp as my 24-70, but still more than sharp enough, the colours are good, but the barrel distortion at the wide end is far more than I expected and makes any architectural photography (and buildings feature heavily in holiday snaps), or indeed anything where you expect a straight line, rather a waste of time. I certainly wouldn't dream of using it for anything more serious at the wide end.
It has a place if accompanied by a 16-35 or 17-40 and you train yourself to change lenses at around 35mm (unless just shooting a pretty scene), but for me it isn't a 24-105, It really is effectively a 35 or 40-105, and whilst I got a very good sale deal on it and therefore probably won't sell mine, I wouldn't buy it again.
In fairness I use mine on a 5D2 (which it is often paired with) and a 1D3. The former really shows the distortion, but if paired with a 1.6c crop , I guess it would be reduced somewhat.


May 1, 2009
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recordproducti
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Registered: Jul 11, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 216
Review Date: May 1, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent compact and versatile zoom for general purpose work that's pretty light, weather sealed (so far so good) and has decent IQ. IS works well. Makes a great video lens on the 5DmkII.
Cons:
The 24mm end is too distorted. It's not, in my view, as sharp as the 24-70L (but it's a lot lighter etc), it is pretty slow at f/4 but you know that when you buy it!

I both love and hate this lens in equal measure. Actually, hate is too strong a word, maybe 'am annoyed by' is the better phrase!

It's the perfect 'walk around' lens on either the FF 5DmkII and 1DmkIII. It's got pretty decent IQ. I find that images taken with the 25-105 when printed, look superb, better than I'd expect. I can take it out on a damp or wet day mounted on the 1DmkIII. For general outdoor shooting I use this lens a lot.

I hate the distortion at the wide end. It just spoils the lens for me but not enough to get rid of it! I just use the 16-35L for that end. F/4 is a bit slow for my liking and even though the I.S. is good, it means that you're frequently bumping the ISO up pretty high to stop motion.

I can see why people own this and the 24-70L. Both have their advantages. I bought one of these, sold it and then bought it back so I think that shows I must like it!




May 1, 2009
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eosing
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Registered: Jan 12, 2008
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 26, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Is a good lens but not great, it can be better if it is F2.8
I prefer to have more ability to stop action than ability to handhold lower speeds. Essentially, both measures prevent blurry shots. I think that having the 2.8 and being able to increase the shutter speed is significantly more useful than being able to handhold longer exposures. Seems to me that with the 2.8, you have a better chance of stopping action, which most of the time is what we want to do anyway.


Apr 26, 2009
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rossmurphy
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Registered: May 24, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 48
Review Date: Apr 8, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, compact, well built,decent price especially used
Cons:
distortion,vignette's

An excelent lens for landscape or walk around, top notch build and quality, here is a shot I took with it:

http://rossmurphy.zenfolio.com/img/v5/p591491116-3.jpg

The other option is good also, that being the 24-70, the 24-105 with IS is more versatile in my opinion.



Ross Murphy

http://rossmurphy.zenfolio.com/
http://imagesinlightnw.blogspot.com/


Apr 8, 2009
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mitekphoto
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Registered: May 17, 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 2, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, full 3-stop IS, weather-sealed, convenient zoom range, one of very few (or is it the only one?) image-stabilized 24mm wide-angle lens, doesn't feel too heavy
Cons:
contrast could be a bit better

This is a very sharp lens, or supposed to be. At least, for me it became one after its trip to Canon. Now, when I examine the images from it, I continue to be surprised how sharp it is. Probably the best general purpose lens, and a unique wide-angle image-stabilized zoom.

Apr 2, 2009
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roo72
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Registered: Dec 9, 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 2, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great image quality, excellent IS.
Cons:
Quite odd focal length if used on crop sensor, fairly useless lens hood on crop body.

Excellent lens, my second "L" that I bought after I got rid of the two kit lenses that came with my 400D. I wanted a walk-around, general purpose lens to compliment my 70-200 2.8 IS and after looking at the alternatives (EF 24-70mm f/2.8L and EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS) I decided to go with this lens. The EF-S was a close competitor but I decided against buying it as I'm planning on getting a FF camera in the near future. I would gladly give up half of its focal length to get f2.8 but nothing's perfect, after testing 24-70 2.8 I decided that IS is more important to me that a bit more light (f4 vs. 2.8), if I want wide aperture I have my 85 1.8 (while dreaming of 85 1.2... maybe one day).

The image quality is generally excellent except for a mild barrel distortion at the wide end (easily corrected with Photoshop anyway). it's a great genera, purpose lens and I'd recommend it to anyone.


Apr 2, 2009
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Krich
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Registered: Aug 13, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 147
Review Date: Mar 12, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,100.00

 
Pros: Decent optical quality, IS, fast focusing, build quality (not that I really care).
Cons:
Very poor value for the money, decent (not great!) optics especially in 70-105 mm range, not a very useful range for me personally.

I must start with a disclaimer: the so called “normal range” (24-28 -> 70-105 mm) lenses -turned out not to be my cup of tea. I had two copies of 24-105, one used I traded my 24-70 for on FM (a big mistake), and the brand new one I bought as a kit with 5D. I had a brand new lens and the used one at the same time so I had to sell one of them. I sold the new one for the used lens was sharper. I then bought a used 17-40 f/4… and found that the 24-105 has no use anymore. I had the 17-40, 24-105, 50/1.4 and 70-200 f/4 IS.
Initially, I tried to take 24-105 instead of 70-200 with me for its versatility. Every single time I did, I regretted it. The 70-200 is far superior in the overlapping region, and offers more reach, the 17-40 offers far wider range and much better contrast and even better resolution in 24-40 range (yes, I was lucky to get a great copy of this lens), and 50 f/1.4 is superior at 50 mm in terms of resolution (when stopped down to f/2.8 –f/4), bokeh, lightness and compactness. What did I need the 24-105 for? I went on and sold it.

To be fair, it’s a decent lens. The images are reasonably sharp and have decent contrast (although inferior to the aforementioned lenses), and the image stabilization is really useful in 70-105 range indoors. This lens does everything well, but nothing great.
The bokeh is somewhat distracting; subject isolation is limited by its relatively slow max aperture, for flashless indoor shots the aperture is too slow to stop action (and with a flash you can use any cheap lens stopped down with the same results). At least 24-70 provided better bokeh and was one stop faster. It was a better lens, although I wouldn’t buy it again having this range covered already (I don’t care for 40-50 and 50-70 mm gaps). Not for $1200, and the need to carry this brick.

And I wouldn’t buy just a decent lens for $1100. For a grand, I expect my lens to be great.

How would I rate this lens? Well, let’s see. If 70-200 f/4 IS deserves 10 for optical quality, and 17-40 deserves 9, I’d say 24-105 deserves 7. Let’s add one point for image stabilization. All right, 8 it is.

As for the value for the money, if you are still thinking of buying this lens new for over a grand ($1100 as of today), just do yourself a favor: for the same amount of money take a used 17-40 (around $550), a used 70-200 f/4 (non IS, around $500) and a used or new 50/1.8 (around $80). You cover far greater range and with much better quality. Plus, some low-light indoor ability of 50, and great portraits with 70-200 at 200 mm (about the sane background blur as 100 mm f/2 would provide, at least for distant backgrounds). Well, you lose the IS, but that’s all.

I won’t subtract any points from my rating for poor value for the money, you know yourself what it costs, I rate the performance only.


Mar 12, 2009
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Krich
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Registered: Aug 13, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 147
Review Date: Mar 12, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Decent optical quality, IS, fast focusing, build quality (not that I really care).
Cons:
Very poor value for the money, decent (not great!) optics especially in 70-105 mm range, not a very useful range for me personally.

I must start with a disclaimer: the so called “normal range” (24-28 -> 70-105 mm) lenses turned out not to be my cup of tea. I had two copies of 24-105, one used I traded my 24-70 for on FM (a big mistake), and a brand new one I bought as a kit with 5D. I had a brand new lens and the used one at the same time so I had to sell one of them. I sold the new one for the used lens was sharper. I then bought a used 17-40 f/4… and found that the 24-105 has no use anymore. I had the 17-40, 24-105, 50/1.4 and 70-200 f/4 IS.

Initially, I tried to take 24-105 instead of 70-200 with me for its versatility. Every single time I did, I regretted it. The 70-200 is far superior in the overlapping region, and offers more reach, the 17-40 offers far wider range and much better contrast and even better resolution in 24-40 range (yes, I was lucky to get a great copy of this lens), and 50 f/1.4 is superior at 50 mm in terms of resolution (when stopped down to f/2.8 –f/4), bokeh, lightness and compactness. What did I need the 24-105 for?

To be fair, it’s a decent lens. The images are reasonably sharp and have decent contrast (although inferior to the aforementioned lenses), and the image stabilization is really useful in 70-105 range indoors. This lens does everything well, but nothing great.
The bokeh is somewhat distracting; subject isolation is limited by its relatively slow max aperture, for flashless indoor shots the aperture is too slow to stop action (and with a flash you can use any cheap lens stopped down with the same results). At least 24-70 provided better bokeh and was one stop faster. It was a better lens, although I wouldn’t buy it again having this range covered already (I don’t care for 40-50 and 50-70 mm gaps). Not for $1200, and the need to carry this brick.

And I wouldn’t buy just a decent lens for $1100. For a grand, I expect my lens to be great.

How would I rate this lens? Well, let’s see. If 70-200 f/4 IS deserves 10 for optical quality, and 17-40 deserves 9, I’d say 24-105 deserves 7. Let’s add one point for image stabilization. All right, 8 it is.

As for the value for the money, if you are still thinking of buying this lens new for over a grand ($1100 as of today), just do yourself a favor: for about the same amount of money take a used 17-40 (around $550), a used 70-200 f/4 (non IS, around $450-500) and a used or new 50/1.8 (around $80). You cover far greater range and with much better quality. Plus, some low-light indoor ability of the 50, and great portraits with 70-200 at 200 mm (about the sane background blur as 100 mm f/2 would provide, at least for distant backgrounds). Well, you lose the IS, but that’s all.

I won’t subtract any points from my rating for poor value for the money, you know yourself what it costs, I rate the performance only.


Mar 12, 2009
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x0SiN0x
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Registered: Jan 10, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 81
Review Date: Mar 2, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,249.95

 
Pros: IS comes in handy, nice range... seems sharp to me
Cons:
Wish the end didn't extend so much

I don't recall the last time this lens was taken off my 20D.

The lens of choice since 2006


Mar 2, 2009
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malla1962
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Registered: Mar 25, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2
Review Date: Feb 28, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Weight, 77mm filter is handy, IS, 105mm
Cons:
Bokeh is a bit ropey, distortion.

I got this lens for travel as most uk Airlines only give you 6KG carry on. I am no great lover of zoom lensesbut find this one prety good
for my needs, IQ is not as good as my 24-70L but good enough and think it will make a better walkaround lens for travel, all in all its a good lens for not a bad price.


Feb 28, 2009
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stargazer78
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Registered: Jan 18, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 371
Review Date: Feb 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Versatile zoom range; Excellent build quality; Very good sharpness;
Cons:
Barrel distortion and vignetting is higher than normal;

[ Reviewed on a EOS 5D Mark II ]

I must've read every single review of the 24-105L review I could find on the Internet, including the 400+ user reviews here at FM. Quite a few people were saying that the lens becomes soft at the long end of the zoom (70mm to 105mm). And that the lens has questionable sharpness in the corners on full frame. Reviews at slrgear and photozone seemed to confirm these complaints. However, there were also plenty of people who swore that the 24-105L is edge-to-edge sharp at all focal lengths.

Needless to say, I was conflicted about buying a 24-105L. Too many conflicting opinions from too many people. After 2 years, I finally caved in and bought one for myself. And I must say I'm pleasantly surprised with the lens. It has definitely exceeded the expectations I had formed from reading so many reviews.

My thoughts? The 24-105L is one strange beast. Center sharpness does not change at all, regardless of focal length or aperture. It's amazingly consistent. Whether at 105mm @ f4.0, or 70mm @ f8.0, or 24mm @ f4.0... they all look the same when pixel peeping with a 5DII. Sharpness at the edges does improve when stopping down from f4.0, but it quickly peaks at f5.6. Overall, sharpness is remarkably consistent across all focal lengths and all apertures. It is extremely sharp in the center, and acceptably sharp along the corners. This is true pretty much for the entire zoom range. I am very, very pleased with the results.

Build quality is superb. It handles well with my 5DII, but feels oversized when mounted on my Rebel. Image stabilization works very well. Color rendition is beautiful, and contrast is just about perfect. Zoom ring is nice and stiff, and the barrel has no play or wobble.

My complaints about the lens? Barrel distortion is quite pronounced at the wide end (24mm). The distortion is easily fixed when processing RAW in DPP, but the "repaired" image will end up looking more like 26mm than 24mm. Vignetting is also disappointingly high for an f4.0 lens. I also wish the lens has a zoom lock mechanism. There's no zoom creep on the lens (yet), but I can imagine that problem developing a few years down the road. It would've been nice to have a zoom lock mechanism --- just in case.

Optical distortions are inevitable for a lens that boasts a 4.4x zoom factor. These are compromises in an ambitious lens design, so I won't hold it against Canon. Bottom line is that the 24-105L is the PERFECT zoom lens for full frame. Excellent zoom range, wide field of view, image stabilization, and sharp all the way through. What's not to like?






Feb 19, 2009
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Fernando Salas
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Registered: Mar 31, 2007
Location: Mexico
Posts: 1
Review Date: Feb 15, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,059.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Excelentes imagenes, claras, colores brillantes.
Cons:
por su precio me gustaria que su construccion fuera mas robusta

Compre este lente hace 1 año 6 meses y lo he usado en diferentes situaciones, landscape, portrait en mi 5D y me ha parecido muy bueno. Imagenes claras, colores brillantes. solo me parece que por su precio canon debio de haber puesto un poco mas de empeño en su construccion, cuando usas tele la parte que sale del lente no esta completamente bien ajustada, se siente un poco suelta y eso no es muy agradable para un lente de la serie "L". Tengo el 70-200 4.0 L y nada que ver en comparacion a su construccion y no es mucha la diferencia en precio (aunque el rango es muy diferente). Pero en general es un lente muy versatil para aquel aficionado que le gusta tener un buen rango en zoom y con una calidad fotografica muy buena.

Feb 15, 2009
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franzoi
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Registered: Aug 30, 2008
Location: Italy
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 13, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Lente molto versatile, stabilizzatore a 3 stop ottimo, molto leggera, qualità fantastica
Cons:
Sarebbe fantastica a f/2,8 fisso con stabilizzatore 4 stop

La lente che monto per il 90%.
Per le fotografie di viaggio è la fine del mondo.

Per chi vuol vedere qualche fotografia da mio sito

www.franzoi.eu

quasi tutte sono state fatte con questa magnificenza.


Feb 13, 2009
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Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
517 903028 Jul 19, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
86% of reviewers $1,515.98
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.48
8.04
9.0
24-105lisusm


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